SINGAPORE - A woman admitted in a district court on Wednesday (Oct 27) to her role in a ruse involving fraudulent loan applications in which DBS Bank was duped into disbursing $1.89 million.
Nor Tashah Mak Shah, 28, was sentenced to five months' jail after pleading guilty to receiving in her bank account benefits of criminal conduct totalling $11,500.
The court heard that five other people had earlier been sent to jail over their roles in the DBS Cashline fraud.
In a statement on Sept 16, the police said that officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) had established that between March and May 2019, 15 people allegedly provided their personal particulars and copies of their identification documents to various individuals for bank loan applications.
Items such as their salary documents were allegedly forged and they were charged in court in September.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Stacey Anne Fernandez told the court that Tashah had told a friend, identified as Nur Fadzillah, in April 2019 that she was facing financial difficulties.
When Fadzillah suggested that she take out a bank loan, Tashah said she believed she would not be eligible as she was unemployed.
DPP Fernandez said: "Fadzillah then told her that she could help the accused apply for the bank loan. The accused knew that Fadzillah was a housewife... and did not know how Fadzillah was able to apply for the bank loan.
"Despite this, she decided to apply for the loan. Fadzillah told the accused that (she) could take a loan of about $10,000."
Tashah then provided Fadzillah with information such as her ATM personal identification number as well as her Singpass login ID and password.
About a week later, Tashah received an e-mail from DBS stating her loan application was successful. She checked her bank account and saw she had received a loan of $11,500.
Fadzillah later told Tashah to pay a "commission" for the successful loan application.
DPP Fernandez said Tashah was surprised that commission needed to be paid, but she agreed to pay it eventually because she was desperate for money.
She was then told to transfer $5,000 to an unknown person who had helped with the application. She paid another $1,000 to Fadzillah, who told her she could keep the remaining $5,500.
On May 9, 2019, a DBS fraud officer made a police report that more than 150 loan applications had been submitted in the names of various individuals. They were supported by documents such as false payslips.
Investigations by the CAD revealed that a DBS Cashline loan application had been submitted in Tashah's name on April 11, 2019, with false documents.
The bank contacted Tashah and told her the loan application in her name was fake. She was also told to make monthly repayments for the loan.
The Singaporean did not do so, and about $150 was later recovered as a forced deduction from her bank account. The remaining loan amount of about $11,350 was not recovered.
The CAD has not been able to establish Fadzillah's identity and her whereabouts are unknown, the court was told.